Thursday 3 January 2013

Remote Control Government

Well, well, and well. The plain packaging consultation just revealed even more unseemly goings-on in and around Westminster. The Times reports that some people are more equal than others when it comes to Department of Health consultations ... if they are Australian, that is.
Anne Milton, then Health Minister, said on July 5 that the Department of Health’s three-month consultation was to be extended until August 10 to “make sure everyone who wants to contribute can”. 
That same day an Australian official in the Department of Health and Ageing wrote to the Department of Health requesting a two-week extension to the July 10 deadline so that Australia’s Minister for Health could sign off the submission. 
“We are currently going through the clearance process for the submission at a time when several of our key ministers are absent on leave or work-related travel, during a break in the parliamentary sitting period,” correspondence released under the Freedom of Information Act reveals. “I am sure that our Health Minister, the Hon Tanya Plibersek, MP, would welcome the opportunity to personally sign off the submission, if at all possible. To achieve this, we will require an extension, due to her short absence. 
“Accordingly, would you or the relevant area responsible for the consultation, be willing to approve a two-week extension until Tuesday 24 July? Alternatively, can you suggest a timeframe that would be acceptable?” 
Later that day, an e-mail was sent by the Department of Health’s tobacco programme manager to the Australian Government, and others, explaining that the deadline had been extended.
Now, hands up if you truly believed that these consultations were designed to hear the views of businesses and the public of the UK, not public sector careerists from some desert on the other side of the world.

Consider, too, other uncanny coincidences that were occurring in the summer which also involved vested interest antipodeans.

As I remarked in September.
Again, this is news to anyone who was following the debate in this country, yet conveniently came just a few days after Andrew Black of the Department of Health had written to Simon Clark of Forest about something he claimed to have seen. Not that anyone here knew that at the time, of course. 
Chapman offered no link, nor was there any news coverage anywhere of this 'story'. In fact, it wasn't until three months later on the 13th September that the allegations were placed on the Department of Health website surrounding something the department's dedicated Aussie anti-smoker - Andrew Black - says he saw just a few days before Chapman's tweet. Uncannily enough, it concerned "screeds of made up names" being collected. What a coincidence! 
How on earth, in June, did Simon Chapman become the only person in the world outside the Department of Health to know what was going on? The Guardian and Independent - the usual cheerleaders - were entirely oblivious, as were the rest of the global press. Yet Chapman looked in his crystal ball and there it was ... a moving picture of what was happening at a London rail hub.
Who is this plain packs charade being run by, and on behalf of? UK government and the British people, or vainglorious empire builders in Canberra and Sydney?

Labour MP Gloria Del Piero has been earnestly worrying of late about why we so very much hate MPs. Hmm, do you reckon, love, that it might be because you - and the system your colleagues have wantonly created over the years - treat British citizens with quite astonishing contempt?


Steve Wintersgill said...

You should just be grateful that you live in a 'representative' democracy mate ;-)

Frank J said...

The fact that a TV presenter turned Labour MP ( quelle surprise ) has to even ask that question shows just how far removed they are. God, they're a conman's dream!

c777 said...

Their just patsies the mandarins and the lobbyists call the shots.
Classic example of how they are either bent or just plain thick.

Lou said...

Hate doesn't begin to describe my feelings toward that lot.

Chris Woods said...

What gets at me is why Australia anyhow. What possible right have the Australians to determine or lobby for UK policy in a government consultation for the country? Indeed I thought representation was restricted to the UK population, didn't we already air that issue over petition signatories?

Junican said...

Two words describe - 'Political Corruption'.
Politicians seek simple solutions. When presented with solutions to a problem, one of which is 'do nothing and wait and see' and another is 'take decisive action', a politician will almost always go for the later.
At least The Times seems to be beginning to understand. But do not expect any significant change.